What It Takes 'To Go Viking'

A conversation with three modern day Vikings.

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Matt Poitras
Leatherworker and film director Matt Poitras in full armor before a battle in Poland in 2012. Photo:Courtesy Matt Poitras
Dave Kilbourn, left, with Clint Dale
Dave Kilbourn and Clint Dale are two members of the Jomsborg Elag based in Austin, Texas. Photo:Courtesy Dave Kilbourn
What It Takes 'To Go Viking'
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What It Takes 'To Go Viking'

The very word "Viking" is complicated because it describes both a people -- those who lived in Scandinavian countries from 800 to 1100 -- and a behavior -- setting out in boats for trade, plunder, or both.

How badass were Vikings? It depends on whom you talk to. On balance, they may be -- ever so slightly -- victims of the dominance of Anglo-Saxon retellling of history. They were certainly fierce and rather merciless, but the so-called Dark Ages were pretty much swarming with fierce and merciless raiders.
 
They may not have been more violent than other tribes, but they were good boat builders, so they played more road games, as it were. The Vikings could go pretty much everywhere. Their supporters argue that, when not fighting, they produced a sophisticated and nuanced culture of artwork and literature.
 
Today, a conversation with a historian and three "modern day Vikings" from the Jomsborg Elag in Austin, Texas. What does it take to go Viking?
 
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Comments

Viking training

I am sorry that I did not hear this today.
I have attended a Viking training class in Massachusetts.
There is a weekly class given by Dr.William Short at the Higgins Armory.
It is based on the Icelandic sagas.I attended out of curiosity.
What I found was a really exciting and physically demanding class.
It was really professionally done class,explaining each movement thoroughly.William Short also runs a group called Hurstwic.I will be doing it again,granted I did leave with a bloodied lip and bruised leg.
Thank you for doing such a great show.
Sincerely
Brian Horbal

E-mail from Joanne

If you wonder about Vikings in Ireland, look at young redheaded kids in Scandanavia and young redheaded kids in Ireland - can't tell the difference!